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12 Men Named to 2010 RV/MH Hall of Fame Class

February 18, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

The board of directors of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation has announced 12 inductees to be received into the RV/MH Hall of Fame as the Class of 2010. Induction ceremonies will be held in August at the Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind.

The RV honorees are:

  • Rex Floyd, Floyd’s RV of Norman, Norman , Okla., RV dealer. A recognized leader in Oklahoma RV matters, he served 12 years on the national board of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), including three as an officer during the industry downturn of the early 1980s. He was a key leader in the early days of organizing a national market expansion program which became today’s Go RVing effort.
  • Jim Fogdall, Ace Fogdall RV, Cedar Falls, Iowa, RV dealer. A 44-year RVDA member, he was the Trailer Life Dealer of the Year in 1988, won the RVDA Chairman’s Award in 2003 and the Jim Summers Award in 2004. He served on the boards of RVDA (chairman), Service Technician Schools (chairman), RV Assistance Corp. and RVDA Education Foundation (chairman).
  • Don Lougheed, RV Group Inc., Austin, Texas, RV dealer. He was one of the founders of the RVDA and a 40-year board member serving in many positions including president. He produced the RV industry’s first flat rate manual for service techs. With stores in New York and Texas, he had one of the first large, multi-state RV dealerships.
  • Carl Pfalzgraf, Atwood Mobile Products, Elkhart, Ind., RV supplier. He has served 18 years on board of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). As Education Committee chairman, he led the group that devised the RVIA industry education program. He served as board chairman and was the 1998 recipient of the Distinguished Service to the Industry Award. He led his company’s marketing for the first electronic ignition water heater, first ball screw lifting devices, first light weight furnace with noise reduction and many others.
  • Clarence T. Yoder, Carriage Inc., Millersburg, Ind., RV manufacturer. During the 30-plus years he led his company, he was the primary research and development officer always seeking innovations in comfort and function. He pioneered seamless fiberglass end caps on RVs in 1969, pioneered motorized slide outs on fifth-wheels, developed the flat floor fifth-wheel concept with no step up into the bedroom and he holds the patents on “hurricane straps” for slideouts and for the “No A Frame” design in travel trailers. He was a 30-year RVIA member and show participant.
  • Raymond F. Bassett, Parkwood Homes and Honey RV, Elkhart, MH/RV manufacturer. He served on the boards of Mobile Home Manufacturers Association (MHMA), Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., Champion Homes, Redman and others. A highly regarded industry inventor and visionary, he patented a “knock-down” mobile home for overseas shipment, developed full-length screenroom additions for Florida models and developed a transport system for early “park models.”

From the manufactured housing segment are:

  • Jim Boyts, Skyline Corp, Elkhart,  manufacturer.
  • Jerry Haggadone, Champion Homes, York, Neb., manufacturer.
  • Morris Hylton, Jr. Hylton Homes, Ivel, Ky., retailer.
  • Jess Maxcy, California MHI, Rancho Cucamunga, CA, association executive.
  • Gary W. Powell, Manufactured Home Communities, Chicago, Iill., community developer.
  • Jeff Wick, Wick Building Systems, Mazomanie  Wis., Housing manufacturer.

The RV/MH Hall of Fame, established in 1972, has honored over 300 industry leaders with enshrinement into the industry hall of fame. It maintains a museum and library of industry history and archives at it headquarters in Elkhart.

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Museum Gives Glimpse at History of RV Industry

December 29, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The recreation vehicle industry celebrates its centennial in 2010, but curiosity seekers can take in the sweep of RV history any time they choose with a visit to the RV/MH Hall of Fame Museum & Library at Exit 96 on the Indiana Toll Road in Elkhart, Ind.

The Recreation Vehicle/Mobile Home Heritage Foundation moved into this 56,000-square-foot facility east of Elkhart in 2007, according to The Detroit News.

Inside are a theater, library, and a display of several of newest and largest motorhomes and travel trailers, but the primary attraction is the two huge halls that house a collection of RVs that include a 1913 travel trailer that is believed to be the oldest in existence.

However, it is not the oldest RV.

“The first motorized campers were built in 1910,” said David Woodworth, an RV historian whose extensive personal collection fills one of the two primary display halls.

“Camping has been around for centuries,” adds Al Hesselbart, the museum’s archivist and on-site RV historian, “but 1910 is when the first auto-related camping vehicles were built for commercial sale.”

Pierce-Arrow introduced showed its “Touring Landau” housecar in 1910, the same year that the Los Angeles Trailer Works and Auto-Kamp Trailers, based in Saginaw, Mich., started selling travel trailers.

The RVs on display in the museum include a 1924 Auto-Kamp trailer and a 1928 Pierce-Arrow.

The oldest RV on display in the museum is a 1913 Earl travel trailer that was custom-built for a California college professor. The trailer is displayed hitched to a vintage Model T Ford.

A winding path leads visitors along the tour of historic travel trailers and motorhomes. Many are set in period vignettes that include displays of vintage camping gear. Some of the units are open so visitors can explore inside them.

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